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ombudsman news

issue 18

July 2002

about this issue of ombudsman news

The topics we feature in this edition of ombudsman news include the insurance complaints handled by the caseworkers in our assessment team. We know that both firms and customers welcome the early resolution of cases and our caseworkers aim to settle matters quickly through informal, agreed settlements. Of course, this is not always possible because of the complexity of the issues involved. But even so, we will give the parties to a dispute an early view about the likely outcome whenever we can.

Both firms and their customers are making increasing use of the telephone for a wide range of transactions. Clearly this is convenient for them, but it can also give rise to disputes. So this edition highlights cases where the ability to pinpoint exactly who said what - by listening to a tape recording of a disputed conversation - has been critical to resolving a case. We also look at situations where the titles of insurance policies have apparently misled customers into expecting more than the policies actually deliver.

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.